During the 1700s, much of theland in Isleworth was dedicated to orchards and market gardens but a combination of the riverside setting and a collection of royal residences in the area led to the remodelling of a number of impressive mansions during the 18th and 19th centuries. These included Syon House, rebuilt for the 1st Duke of Northumberland and, of course, Isleworth House.
Isleworth House, later the White House, has a rich history with famous visitors including Sir Horace Walpole and King William IV, who greatly admired the view from the house. In 1832, the house passed to Sir William Cooper, through his wife Isabella nee Franks. Sir William rebuilt the house in sumptuous style, diverting Richmond Road in order to ensure that the house had the best outlook. Today, the view is still impressive and beautifully landscaped grounds are just one of the benefits that owners at Fitzroy Gate will be able to enjoy
There’s much to explore in the local area. Syon House, the London home of the Duke of Northumberland, features Robert Adam interiors and gardens designed by Capability Brown. At Osterley Park, there are hundreds of acres of parkland, a play trail and an impressive neo-classical mansion that has been described as a ‘palace of palaces.’ In nearby Twickenham is the former home of Britain’s greatest landscape painter, J.M.W. Turner.
Twickenham Stadium is the largest stadium in the world devoted solely to the sport of Rugby Union and the second largest stadium in the UK after Wembley. Experience the electric atmosphere of match day – or one of the music events hosted at the ground.
Ham Polo Club in Richmond, the last remaining polo club in Greater London, is known for its excellent standard of play, social facilities and a great family atmosphere.
The River Thames runs for 20 miles through the Borough of Richmond – and there are plenty of opportunities to make the most of one of London’s most beautiful stretches of water with sailing clubs in Hampton and Twickenham, canoe clubs in Richmond and Teddington and rowing clubs in Teddington and Twickenham.
There’s plenty to keep golfers happy in the area. There are two 18-hole golf courses in Richmond Park, another full course at Fulwell and two nine-hole courses at Strawberry Hill and Twickenham Golf Clubs.
Built in 1899, Richmond Theatre is one of the most successful in the country offering a wide range of drama, musicals, opera, dance and family entertainment as well as young people’s events and workshops. Or for a more intimate experience, the Orange Tree Theatre, opposite the station, is a must. Richmond has three cinemas including the award-winning Curzon cinema.
Anyone wanting to look good and feel great won’t have far to travel. Get fit at Virgin Active in Twickenham, Richmond Hill Health Club, Teddington Pool and Fitness Club just off Teddington High Street, Your Gym in Richmond or Spring Health Leisure Club at Old Deer Park in Richmond. For relaxation, there’s The Sanctuary Spa on Hill Rise in Richmond, The WT Spa, The Balcony Health and Beauty Spa at the Richmond Gate Hotel or the award-winning Spa and Body Wellness Clinic at The Lensbury Hotel.
Richmond’s House of Fraser sells everything from Mulberry handbags to king-size beds.
In need of refreshment? Those with a ‘sweet-tooth’ won’t be able to resist the temptations of William Curley’s chocolate boutique. Call into Cook & Garcia, one of the most popular destinations in Richmond and winner of the ‘Best Independent Sandwich Bar in the UK’ for two consecutive years.
Every Saturday, Richmond Farmers’ Market offers a range of fresh, local fruit and vegetables. Nearby Kingston upon Thames is home to the Bentall Centre with 75 stores and more than 1,000 fashion brands
under one roof.
Richmond has a host of places to eat out from pavement cafes, charming pubs and ethnic restaurants to top class sophisticated dining experiences. From artisan coffee shops to popular chains such as Pizza Express, Strada and Giraffe, to fine dining, it’s all here. Those who appreciate fine dining will be spoiled for choice in Richmond where restaurants include Al Boccon di’vino, a charming Italian-cafe style restaurant and Chez Lindsay which brings an authentic taste of Brittany to the banks of the Thames. Equally popular are Restaurant 109, known for its innovative European and British cuisine and La Buvette which boasts an informal, intimate dining room and secluded courtyard for eating al fresco.
There’s so much more on offer than the average coffee shop in this part of London. The beautiful Syon Coffee House is a comfortable venue in which to enjoy real Italian cappuccinos and freshly baked croissants. At The Tide Tables, underneath Richmond Bridge, enjoy herbal teas, gourmet coffee or fresh organic juices and watch the world sail by.